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We’ll put it right this weekend – Brookes

Aviva PremiershipVenue: Franklin’s Gardens Date: Saturday 9 September Kick-off: 16:30 BSTCoverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport website

Australia’s Rob Horne makes his debut for Northampton in the East Midlands derby, replacing centre Nafi Tuitavake.

George North and Teimana Harrison also come in, with South Africa scrum-half Cobus Reinach on the bench, but Tom Wood (shoulder) is absent.

England prop Dan Cole and back-rower Luke Hamilton come into the Leicester Tigers starting XV.

Matt Smith starts at centre after Manu Tuilagi suffered a knee injury in their home defeat by Bath.

Northampton prop Kieran Brookes:

“Since the game against Saracens until Tuesday, everybody was pretty cut up and very disappointed.

“We had a meeting and decided to draw a line under it and learn from it, and try and take the frustration we were all showing into this weekend.

“Our defensive structure wasn’t good and our attacking structure wasn’t good. We have a structure but none of us stuck to it and the intensity of Sarries caught us out.

“Nobody wants to lose the first game of the season, and especially how we did, so it’s a massive chance (against Leicester) for everybody in the squad to rectify those wrongs.”

Leicester Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor:

“Against Bath we were a little bit inaccurate at stages and gave away 21 soft points during a 10-minute period and that was the difference.

“Unfortunately on Saturday the line-out struggled to get the parity and delivery we needed, but the guys have worked incredibly hard to rectify that and I am sure it will be significantly better.

“The stakes are very, very high. The players enjoy the derbies and everything that goes with them. It usually brings about the best in both sides.

“We need to fix a couple of the inaccuracies we had at the weekend and go there in the right frame of mind to put out a big performance. The intensity that goes with Tigers-Saints games is fantastic. That is why you are involved in the game.”

Northampton: Tuala; North, Horne, Burrell, Collins; Mallinder, Groom; Waller, Hartley (capt), Brookes, Paterson, Day, Lawes, Gibson, T Harrison.

Replacements: Haywood, Ma’afu, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Foden.

Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Toomua, May; G Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Barrow, Kitchener, Hamilton, O’Connor, Kalamafoni.

Replacements: Thacker, Bateman, Mulipola, Williams, Ryan, S Harrison, J Ford, Tait.


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